BIDDEFORD, Maine – The Curry College men's ice hockey team and No. 8 University of New England experienced the Commonwealth Coast Conference's (CCC) new overtime format, where, after the teams were tied 2-2, a three-on-three, five-minute sudden death overtime was played. Sophomore Jimmy Elser (Verbank, N.Y.) gave the Nor'easters the extra point on the night with his goal with 2:11 to go in the three-on-three extra session.
UNE (13-3-2 overall, 9-1-1 CCC) tallied the first goal of the contest on a marker by sophomore Liam Darcy (Waterboro, Maine) with 6:22 left in the opening period. Freshman Alex Sheehy (North Salem, N.Y.) and senior Liam Neuman (Newmarket, Ontario) picked up the assists as the 1-0 margin held for the remainder of the stanza. The squads were even in the shot category, 17-17, after one.
The Colonels (12-3-3 overall, 7-2-2 CCC) netted two goals in the second to snag its initial lead of the game. Sophomore Mic Curran (Arlington, Mass.) registered his second power play goal of the season and 32nd point on the season at 12:04. Seniors Billy Vizzo (Shelton, Conn.) and Justin Ketola (Cloquet, Minn.) were credited with the helpers. Curry made it two in a row just under two minutes later on a short-handed goal by junior Matthew Henderson (Scarborough, Maine) with 5:58 remaining in the stanza to make the score 2-1. Freshman Mark Zhukov (St. Petersburg, Russia) recorded the assist as the Colonels closed the frame with the one-goal cushion.
The Nor'easters found the back of the net with 1:15 to go in the final period on a power play tally by junior Brendan Donohue (New Hope, Pa.). UNE pulled junior goaltender Ben Churchfield (Newcastle, England) to gain a six-on-four advantage with 1:50 on the clock. Junior Chris Jones (Seattle, Wash.) took an initial shot on goal that was saved by Ketola. It bounced off him and then turned into a scramble in front of the net. A few more opportunities were had and a shot by Donohue snuck by the Curry netminder as he sprawled out on his back to do what he could to try and keep the puck out of the net. The referee signaled a goal as UNE knotted the game at two with a minute and a quarter left in the frame.
Following the tying score by the Nor'easters, neither squad could score in the opening five-on-five overtime period, causing the game to be declared a tie. The new CCC overtime format sent the game into a three-on-three period with Elser scoring to award UNE with two points in the conference standings with Curry receiving one.
UNE had a 40-30 edge in shots. Churchfield made 28 saves while Ketola made 38.
The two teams play the second game of their weekend series tomorrow afternoon at the Canton Ice House at 2:50 p.m.